There’s never been a wider selection of betting opportunities than there are today but, whether you’re a novice punter or seasoned veteran, it’s vital to have a betting strategy in place if you are serious about making money.

There are plenty of useful promotions from the online bookmakers such as Ladbrokes betting offers out there but, unless you bet intelligently, you are unlikely to benefit from them.

Data is key in betting, so it pays to have at least some basic details to hand.  For example, in the Premier League this season, 41% of games played to date have ended in home wins, 27% as draws and 32% as away wins and there has been an average of 2.74 goals per game.  With this basic information, you can at least begin to make some informed decisions as to where you place your bets.

The most common half-time result in just about any league is the draw, with 39% of Premier League matches this season being all square at the interval. The most common scoreline at half-time is 0-0, accounting for 33% of PL games. The next most typical scores are 0-1 (18%) and 1-0 (17%).  That’s useful data for a variety of betting markets.

A simple guide that could be used for rating the match odds is to look at the home and away records of the teams over a fixed time-frame.  If we looked at a 20-match period during which Team A had a recent home record of 16-4-0 and Team B were 4-6-10 on their travels, then we could make a quick guide to true match prices through combining both sets of results.

So, for the home win we would have 16 + 10 = 26 of 40 games in total, which equates to 65%.  Using the same process we can calculate the draw as 4 + 6 = 10 of 40, so 25% and the away win would be 0 + 4 = 4 of 40, or 10%.  Our fair match odds might be something around 8/15 (Home); 3/1 (Draw); 9/1 (Away).

When backing the Over / Under goals market, you need to have a decent sample size (perhaps the last 20 matches) to see whether you have a value bet and to ensure that the figures aren’t distorted by a rogue scoreline or two (e.g. a 6-1 score result can heavily distort figures in too small a sample).

The Kelly Criterion is a good guide to determining the staking size of bets.  The Kelly formula is:

BR% = (P*B) – 1 / odds – 1, where P is the probability of us winning (as a decimal), B the odds offered and BR% the percentage of the bankroll we should stake according to the Kelly Criterion.

For the more advanced, Poisson Distribution requires more work using historical data to calculate the attacking and defensive strengths of the teams to arrive at the likely number of goals that will be scored in a match.